If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see youย at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

Monday (Again)

Dear Ann,
It’s a huge Monday. Obviously: Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day has gotten a lot better since the movie, I think. Before the movie, it was just a weird day about trying to understand what “6 more weeks of winter” meant. If he doesn’t see his shadow, is it less than 6 weeks, or more than 6 weeks? Does he ever not see his shadow? Should we be leaving this up to a groundhog? Personally, I subscribe to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s teaching–it’s the badgers we ought to be consulting. If the badger has built a very sturdy house, it’s going to be a long winter. Check your badger houses.
This Monday is also Silent Poetry Reading day. Here’s a cool and creepy warning for ya:
Lucy Ashton’s Song
Look not thou on beauty’s charming,
Sit thou still when kings are arming,
Taste not when the wine-cup glistens,
Speak not when the people listens,
Stop thy ear against the singer,
From the red gold keep thy finger;
Vacant heart and hand and eye,
Easy live and quiet die.
Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
From The Bride of Lammermoor
(You know how I am always saying, “play/sing/read that one at my funeral?” Well, not that one.)
Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival: I Didn’t Go. Again.
Once again, I failed to get myself to the Tokyo quilt festival. Luckily for all of us,–Rabbit Hole Alert!Bemused was there, Moving Hands was there, and Moonstitches was there.
I got so overexcited after viewing all these photos that I spent Sunday afternoon hyperventilating while stitching on this abandoned small quilt. Quilting is so exciting. (Ann! Get quilting! I know it’s not the kind of thing a person takes up on another person’s say-so, but srsly, y’all– it’s life changing.)
The only thing I can articulate about the Japanese quilters is how very far they take their vision. All that mind-bogglingly detailed handwork is expressive, not merely technical or devotional. They are so strong for it; they see so clearly what they are about. It makes me want to work on the same quilt, every day for a year. And see what happens.
Subscriptions Dept.
To everyone who has written to us about how to get ahold of the new UK knitting magazine, The Knitter: The Knitter thanks you. They are working out the kinks with Barnes & Noble, which should be stocking it soon. In the meantime, they are offering a special deal–65 pounds for 13 issues– exclusive to U.S. subscribers. Go here (if the link asks you for a password, try cutting and pasting the link into your browser; it worked for me after I did that). (Note: you do have to pay in pounds. The British people are fond of the pounds. A credit card will make the conversion to US greenback dollas.)
Speaking of subscriptions, have you seen this adorable thing?
It’s the first installment of Handknit Heroes, the first graphic novel for knitters. What will the kids think of next? It has a pattern. (Because don’t you hate that Spider Man has no knitting patterns in it?) I got a copy at my fun-loving LYS, and it’s also available here.
I have done a spot of garter stitch recently, but I will keep you in suspense about that for a while longer.




  1. I love the photo of your quilt. Is that Nani Iro? I’m thinking about quilts now.

  2. I’ve got to say, I’m kind of confused what’s handknit. Are the people handknit? Is the pompom explosion in the back handknit?

  3. I didn’t even make it to the last Houston show. And I’m in Austin! Quilting is life changing. And like knitters, quilters are the nicest people in the world.

  4. Ohhh…garter stitch! Please don’t keep us in suspense for too long…

  5. Once you quilt, you never lose the urge to make another one. I would so love to go to Tokyo for a quilting festival.
    Shall we all lock arms and resolve to go next year?

  6. I thought you’d comment on the indigo quilt, Kay. It seemed to have your name on it — except for it being sorta dark and moody. But it was denim-ish.

  7. Rabbit hole indeed! The appliqued dots damn near killed me. I blew my entire Saturday morning looking through the Flicker pictures. Then printed off my faves and drove directly to my local quilt store.
    So inspiring. Makes me want to be a better quilter.

  8. kay you have a whirl wind of a mind
    the quilts are so interestng
    true works of art you will make
    it over perhaps by then we could
    have a private jet
    silent poetry
    oh woe oh woe
    oh terrible woe
    where has my woe gone
    i am so woe begone
    now that my woe is gone
    by me

  9. Thanks for the update on The Knitter, I have looked a bunch, but never found it, I had ordered a subscription already, but it seems to start only with issue 2.

  10. Um, I don’t think I want to pay such a hefty price for that british knitting mag
    65 British pounds = 92.57300 U.S. dollars

  11. Um, I don’t think I want to pay such a hefty price for that british knitting mag
    65 British pounds = 92.57300 U.S. dollars

  12. My, what a cheerful ditty by Sir Walter! That man really knows how to light up a room.
    I’m working on a little pome, too. So far, I’ve got half a stanza:
    “My badger built a house of brick
    in year two-thousand-eight…”

  13. Oh my, ยฃ65 seems so much cheaper than $92 if you don’t allow yourself to think about it. And surely in 15 issues I’ll find THE perfect pattern for that bag and a half of Rowan wool cotton, in which case it redeems so much more than $92. So I just held my breath and subscribed. Thanks for the link!

  14. Dear Kay,
    So I’m probably going to stick my foot in my mouth (I’ve done it before), but as a once devoted reader of Ms. Ingalls Wilder and visitor to her DeSmet, S.D. residences, I feel compelled to inquire as to whether the badgers determined winter’s length or the muskrats? Having two boys has addled me, and I’m not so young anymore, but I could have sworn it was the muskrats’ architechtural efforts that served as predictable winter guides. I really hate winter by the way. Oh, and I began law school this semester (Jan. start) and my knitting is Really suffering. Since it’s only a tier three school(I sort of took undergrad a little too lightly), I haven’t forgone the craft altogether and am steadily stiching along on my mitered square blanket when time permits (I know- I go back and forth ‘tween the volumes). And, lastly, you can never go wrong with the H.Bailey (my fabric issues run as deep as my yarn ones)! Ok, off to read a bit of Crim law- Sara

  15. Wow. Those quilts are … wow. I ignored the black hole warning and spent over an hour looking at quilts … excuse me, Works of Art. Right now I’m obsessed with Paul Klee (the colors! the patterns! the quirkiness!), and so many quilts looked so Klee-y. Or maybe I’m just *really* obsessed.
    What a pretty start you have there, Kay. MMmmmm, peonies.

  16. I can’t keep up with you.
    You post so many awesome things in one post, I’m tired just reading.
    But I’m grateful.

  17. I can’t keep up with you.
    You post so many awesome things in one post, I’m tired just reading.
    But I’m grateful.

  18. I am glad Sara spoke up re: the muskrat/badger question. My problem has always been that while there are muskrats who live in my parents’ backyard, but they live in a den carved into the side of the pond (more like a beaver would), and not in a constructed house like the muskrats during the Long Winter.
    These things are the things I wonder about…

  19. Totally changing the subject here, but, it’s kinda cool that you are in the new issue of Vogue as a singing duet….no less! ๐Ÿ™‚ You can always have a second career in music!

  20. Watch how you talk about Badgers! I live in Wisconsin and we take our Wisconsin Badgers very seriously!

  21. Hope you enjoyed some of the quilt show photographs. Your feelings about the quilters echo mine. I was struck by the many quilts that had such clear and bold artistic visions, rendered in fabrics. Very different from fabrics turned into a vision, if you know what I mean. (This, from a humble quilt observer)

  22. The suspenders are killing me! Or did you say garters, wot?

  23. Kay…I think its great that you are a quilter now. My journey was just the opposite..I began as a quilter then morphed into a knitter. You love for all things fabric has made me want to delve into that fabric stash again. OR, maybe to finish all those unfinished quilt tops. Have you tried applique yet? Ohhhhh…that’s really cool. A combo of patchwork AND applique…I know…stop!

  24. You aren’t losing your mind about badgers. In Europe badgers traditionally forecast the length of winter. In the New World, we didn’t have badgers so we adopted groundhogs. This info courtesy of The Ancient Celtic Festivals and How We Celebrate Them Today by Clare Walker Leslie and Frank E. Gerace. Groundhog day corresponds to the Celtic Festival of Imbolic – we’re midway between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox! In Northern New England lambing season traditionally starts now – the tie in to wool and knitting.

  25. Thanks for The Knitter update. I spent a long time looking through the periodical racks at Borders couldn’t find it and ended up with a Shape magazine. Not only do I not have The Knitter, I am now painfully aware of my less than rock hard abs. ๐Ÿ™ My Mom was a quilter. But, I think I can only shoot for proficiency at one of the needle arts. I have a least 50 years of yarn to knit in the stash after all.

  26. I was able to find a copy of The Knitter at a Borders store in Ann Arbor on February 9. I’ve only found it at the downtown store, not the other two. So you may have luck finding it in Borders stores in downtown areas.


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